Morning all. After a quick canter through my favourite books of 2017, here’s a simpler post: the books I’m most looking forwards to getting my grubby little protuberances on in 2018.
The Queen of All Crows – Rod Duncan
This, the first of The Map of Unknown things series, is already out and garnering excellent reviews. I’ve just finished the first chapter and am already seized.
Rod is a great writer (and a lovely chap) and Elizabeth Barnabus is a great character. I can’t wait to see how the Gas-lit Empire will finally fall. I’m just hoping it involves more of the dwarf Fabulo.
The Dark Angel – Elly Griffiths
I don’t read as much crime as I used to but I still can’t resist the lure of a good murder. The Ruth Galloway series is a wonderful example of how to carry characters over long arcs – this is the tenth book and the pleasure is as much in the protagonist’s uncertain relationship with (married, but not to Ruth) DI Harry Nelson as it is with solving mysteries.
Also it’s set in my spiritual home of Norfolk and features an archaeologist in the lead role. What’s not to love?
Smoke Eaters – Sean Grigsby
Grigsby is a new author for me; another I came across via Twitter. Smoke Eaters will be his debut novel and the idea – firemen versus dragons – is temptation enough on its own. The buzz for it is building, and that – along with an excellent cover – is enough to intrigue.
He also runs the Cosmic Dragon podcast, if you’re at all interested.
The Soldier – Neal Asher
I used to recommend Asher to all and sundry; he’s certainly one of the best sci-fi writers out there with his mix of AIs, interstellar warfare and viral contamination. Sadly, his politics means I can no longer extol his praises. His ‘Owner’ trilogy was just too much for me.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not eagerly anticipating his new release. I’ve learnt a lot from his writing over the years – he’s one of those surprisingly influential writers that seem to creep up on you unawares.
Revenant Gun – Yoon Ha Lee
The concluding part of the ‘Machineries of Empire’ trilogy, Yoon Ha Lee is one of the authors (along with Ann Leckie) who has really changed the way we look at science-fiction other the last five years. This series isn’t for everyone, but it is great. Looking forwards to this immensely.
Lies Sleeping – Ben Aaronovitch
I love the Peter Grant series. I can’t express just how much I wish I could write with this much smart humour. And, as ever, it’s the audio version for me: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s voice is perfect
The Labyrinth Index – Charles Stross
In The Delirium Brief Stross left us with the government killed and an elder (evil) God in charge of the country. How will we get out of this one? Bob only knows.
And no, you’re not allowed to complain about spoilers. You’ve had months to read it. And spoilers only whet the appetite. It’s true. I read it on the internet.
Priest of Bones – Pete McLean
I’m not so massively up on grimdark. I respect it, for sure, but I like some sense of hope in my life. I like to be able to feel that things might some day be better.
But Pete McLean is a great writer. I trust he’ll bring some smart humour to illuminate the darkness.
The Widening Gyre – John Scalzi
Sequel to The Collapsing Empire, I recently learned that the series was inspired by musings on the trade empires of the colonial era, and what would happen if the winds suddenly changed. And if that’s not enough to get you reading, I don’t know what is.
Night Shift – Robin Triggs
Cheap plug alert! 2018 should see my debut release. Yes, I’m in a state of eager, anxious anticipation. Stay tuned for more news.
The Thorn of Emberlain – Scott Lynch
Volume the fourth in the Gentleman Bastard series, and if you’re not up on the Gentleman Bastard series you’re missing out. They’re wonderful: the long con is a wonderful game to watch, like an episode of Mission: Impossible set in a nightmare fantasy-land of depth, conviction and – yes – horror. Really looking forwards to this. We just have to hope that it actually comes out this year after a series of delays.
Winds of Winter – GRR Martin
Will 2018 finally see the release of the next book in the Song of Fire and Ice series? To be honest I’ve almost forgotten about Martin: I’ve avoided the TV show because I want the characters to still be the ones I’ve created in my head and it’s been such a long time that they’ve become lost to me.
But maybe, just maybe, this will be the year it all comes flooding back…
* * *
This little lot, plus the three shelves of books still to be read from last year’s accumulation, will keep me busy. But I’m always distracted by new shinies: my local library will no doubt tempt me from the straight and narrow. And you, lovely reader – what’s tempting you this year? What have I overlooked? All recommendations gratefully received.
A second note: I came across several of these authors (and others without scheduled 2018 releases like Aliette de Bodard) through Twitter, and through them being nice people. The rest I found through my local library. These things work, folks. Make use of them and make the world a better, more interesting place.